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Climate Change

Climate change reports.

Pavements are susceptible to accelerated deterioration due to changing climate conditions, leading to increased maintenance and excess fuel consumption through pavement-vehicle interaction. China's diverse climates raise concerns about the environmental and economic sustainability of flexible pavements amid climate change and the effectiveness of preventative maintenance strategies. This study examines climate change's potential impacts on long-term pavement performance, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and costs, employing the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide method. The calibrated World Bank's Highway Development and Management Model 4 assesses the impacts of surface characteristics on vehicle fuel consumption. Life cycle assessment and life cycle cost analysis quantify GHG emissions and costs. Results reveal significant pavement deterioration in Southeast and Central China. Preventative maintenance strategies reduce fuel consumption, with GHG emissions and cost savings from smoother driving conditions outweighing those from maintenance. These insights stress the importance of proactive maintenance strategies for mitigating climate-induced deterioration and enhancing sustainability.

This study aims to explore the potential of optimization-based maintenance strategies in adapting asphalt pavements to future climate change. Based on a highway network in Jiangsu, China, the impacts of climate change, characterized by global warming and intensified precipitation, on pavement life cycle cost (LCC) and performance were quantitively assessed, and the benefits of maintenance optimization in mitigating climate change impacts were examined. The findings indicate that climate change may increase pavement rutting depth and reduce pavement roughness and skid resistance, while its effect on transverse cracking varies over time. Adjusting the maintenance schedules, but still following the threshold-based approach, would increase the LCC by about 15.5 %∼19.1 %. The optimization-based maintenance decision-making model significantly mitigates climate change impacts, ultimately even saving 0.6 % of LCCs compared to the baseline. The outcomes will provide a quantitative understanding of the climate change impacts on asphalt pavements, as well as adaptive maintenance strategies to improve pavement resilience.

This study develops a stochastic pavement LCCA framework to account for the effects of such uncertainties on climate change-induced pavement life cycle cost. This is achieved by integrating a sensitivity analysis methodology and Monte Carlo simulation. To demonstrate the applicability of the framework case studies are performed for standard interstate and standard primary road pavement sections in four climate zones in the United States under a high climate change Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP8.5) for four different periods between 1981 and 2100. The results show that pavement maintenance, end-of-life (EOL), and transportation costs are most affected by climate change. To assess climate change-induced pavement costs more accurately, it is important to improve the accuracy of gasoline, diesel, and hot mix asphalt (HMA) unit costs, as they are the most sensitive input to the pavement LCCA model.

Pavement researchers typically adopt life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) to quantify changes in the economic performance of road pavements due to the effects of climate change. As uncertainty exists in the unit cost of materials, fuels, and machinery operation, the assessment of climate change-induced pavement costs invariably involves uncertainty. If such uncertainties remain unaddressed, the assessment of pavement costs will not be accurate. Therefore, this study develops a stochastic pavement LCCA framework to account for the effects of such uncertainties on climate change-induced pavement life cycle cost. This is achieved by integrating a sensitivity analysis methodology and Monte Carlo simulation. To demonstrate the applicability of the framework case studies are performed for standard interstate and standard primary road pavement sections in four climate zones in the United States under a high climate change Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP8.5) for four different periods between 1981 and 2100. The results show that pavement maintenance, end-of-life (EOL), and transportation costs are most affected by climate change. To assess climate change-induced pavement costs more accurately, it is important to improve the accuracy of gasoline, diesel, and hot mix asphalt (HMA) unit costs, as they are the most sensitive input to the pavement LCCA model

2019 - Africa - Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments
 4.46 MB

In this ReCAP guideline, users are led through the process of conducting a climate risk and vulnerability study at national/regional and project level by applying the developed semiquantitative AfCAP risk and vulnerability assessment framework. This framework is used to highlight high-risk areas in terms of climate impacts on low-volume access roads. The results of such an application are meant to guide and support decision making and prioritisation when adapting existing and new road infrastructure to the impacts of climate change.

Change management with respect to Climate Change has the potential for making significant strides towards creating resilience to climate effects in a cost-effective way. The ReCAP Change Management Guidelines covers policy and planning, stakeholder and asset management, and proposes recommendations for the formulation of strategies and programmes for improvement.

This ReCAP manual describes the nature and collection of data for climate change risk assessments, which is normally not part of the routine data collection for asset management purposes. This includes issues such as erosion, problem soils, drainage from the road and its near environment as well as from outside the road reserve, instability of embankments and cuttings, construction issues and maintenance problems. For expedience and to minimise costs, this should be done during the routine visual condition assessments, by the assessment teams or others trained specifically for the purpose. Based on the typical problems expected, the assessments are probably best done by those with a geotechnical, engineering geological or geomorphological background. A standard form for recording the data is provided with a worked example and photos of the rated distresses

In this ReCAP Guideline, engineering adaptation options related to the various climatic stressors are presented. The crucial importance of effective drainage and timely and appropriate maintenance is highlighted. Adaptation techniques for handling the expected changes in temperature and precipitation, windiness, seallevel rise and more frequent extreme events are identified and discussed. These are specifically related to unpaved roads, paved roads, subgrade materials, earthworks and drainage within and outside the road reserve as well as possible implications for construction activities. The impacts on maintenance practices are also highlighted and guidance given.

2019 - Africa - Climate Adaptation Handbook
 1.9 MB

This ReCAP Climate Adaptation Handbook provides relevant information and guidance on climate adaptation procedures for rural road access, along with a methodology to address climate threats and asset vulnerability, with the purpose to increase resilience in a systematic manner. It has been developed to cover a wide range of climatic, geomorphologic and hydrological circumstances, based on experience gained in Mozambique, Ghana and Ethiopia, but the guidance provided is equally applicable to any subSaharan country.

2018 - Performance Based Contracts and Climate Change
 19.06 MB

Climate change has negative implications for transportation investments, especially those managing maintenance using output and performance-based road contracts (OPRC).


Currently, climate change risks are generally carried by the asset owner through the  Force Majeure provisions of the contract, and treated as ‘unforeseen’ events, with costs reimbursed as Emergency Work reimbursements. This not only impacts on the financial performance of the OPRC, but in some situations, may make OPRCs a less than ideal modality for maintaining road networks.


OPRC projects therefore face a number of pressing climate related issues compared to traditional contracting arrangements which, if addressed, will contribute to more resilient infrastructure:


·        Explicitly recognizing that climate change presents serious challenges to operations and maintenance (O&M) and long-term viability of infrastructure assets

·        Finding a way to estimate climate change risks since historic data does not reliably represent future climate

·        Accounting for climate change in OPRC design to realize the full potential economic and social benefits


Managing these uncertainties is key to development successful OPRCs. Allocating the risk of climate change to the stakeholder parties best suited for handling the impacts is essential.


2018 - Integrating Climate Change to Asset Management
 61.9 MB

Keynote address to the 2018 New Zealand Road Infrastructure Management conference on incorporating climate change considerations to asset management.

The road sector represents a significant asset to any country – both in terms of the physical cost to build it, and the social and economic benefits that it facilitates. Internationally accepted good practice is that the road asset should be appropriately managed through formal asset management techniques such as those laid out under the ISO55000 standard, the International Infrastructure Management Manual, or similar guidelines   While these standards and guidelines all permit the inclusion of climate change impacts into the asset management practices, there is little specific guidance on how to do so with the result being that many road authorities are still working in a business-as-usual mode.


Climate change, for whatever the cause, has the potential to be a serious disruptor to business-as-usual thinking for many of the most vulnerable countries in the world. The impacts of climate change are two-fold, with medium-long term changes in the average indicators (rainfall, temperature etc.) along with an increase in the occurrence of shock events such as large floods. With the past not being a good indicator of the future with regard to climate change, many of the asset management practices need to be refined to ready road authorities in advance of; during; and after climate change events.


This report describes asset management practices should be modified to prepare a road authority for climate change – ranging from modifications of high level policy statements; through to the maintenance of key assets. The key finding is that climate change is best integrated to asset management by being prepared for climate events, rather than through response plans. Not all of the recommended changes are applicable to all road authorities, and for some of the most vulnerable road networks it may be necessary to go beyond the level of effort recommended. However, application of the principles advocated here will ensure road authorities are prepared to address the challenges of climate change in managing their infrastructure.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a group of countries located across the world in the Caribbean, Pacific, Africa, and Indian Ocean regions. They are all small in size, sparsely populated and geographically isolated, and their small economies are typically based on tourism, fisheries, agriculture, and small-scale manufacturing activities.

SIDS are among the most exposed and vulnerable countries to natural disasters in the world, and climate change is expected to exacerbate future risks, threatening development progress. Because of their location, small size, and topography, SIDS are exposed to severe hazards, including cyclones, extreme winds, storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Compared to other countries, SIDS also suffer very high economic losses when extreme events strike, with average annual losses ranging between 1 and 10 percent of gross domestic product (Figure 1). Climate change will not only exacerbate disaster risks, but also have long-term impacts such as sea level rise, changes in rainfall patterns, and more extreme temperatures, which also require adapted management.

This report describes issues challenging SIDS, and how they can be addressed through asset management.

2017 - Climate Change and Low Volume Roads
 6.76 MB

Presentation to the 2017 Transportation Research Board on the challenges and opportunities for low volume roads due to climate change.

There is an increasing evidence that the earth’s climate is changing with some of the changes attributable to transport infrastructure. Climate change can have impacts on road infrastructure. The direct impacts can be due to the effects of environment. Temperature can affect the aging of bitumen resulting in an increase in brittle failure of the surface seals that represent more than 90% of the rural sealed roads in Australia. Further, rainfall changes can alter moisture balances and influence pavement deterioration. Brittle failure of the bitumen causes the surface to crack, with a consequent loss of waterproofing of the surface seal. The result is that surface water will enter the pavement causing potholing and will cause rapid loss of surface condition. More frequent reseal treatments will overcome the problem, but this is at a higher cost to road agencies. Road infrastructure is a long-lived investment.  An understanding of the expected impacts of future climate change by road designers, asset managers and planners, could produce considerable cost savings in the long term. This research aims to provide an assessment of likely effects on climate change for South East Queensland region in the next 90 years, and further identify and assess the likely effects of climate change on road pavement. It can be concluded that, climate change in South East Queensland does play a role in lower deterioration rates. The findings suggest that decreasing rainfall (decreasing TMI) will slow flexible pavement deterioration. However, increases in temperature are likely to cause materials to expand to affect pavement deterioration rates.

2017 - Affordable Coastal Protection
 3.06 MB

Design guide giving a variety of coastal protection solution for Pacific Island countries.

2015 - USA - Storm Damage Risk Reduction Guide
 10.7 MB

Steel bridges comprise approximately 20% of New Zealand state highway bridges and, with the inclusion of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, represent an asset replacement value of over $2 billion. Protective coatings are often less than one third of a millimetre in thickness and are required to protect highly stressed steel from corrosion in often aggressive marine environments. Historically the full potential life of these coatings has not been achieved due to less than optimum coating selection, specification, application or maintenance. The ultimate objective of this guide is to optimise the long term capital and maintenance costs of steel structures through the implementation of best practice in the selection, application and maintenance of protective coatings on steel structures. Protective coatings for steel bridges generally provides an overview of the key processes and considerations with references to other key standards and documents. It is provided to inform and assist the wider industry in achieving best practice. However, it is also strongly recommended that specialists with skills and experience in protective coatings are used to ensure the accurate interpretation and application of this guide and various reference documents on individual projects.

This guide provides information and resources to help transportation management, operations, and maintenance staff incorporate climate change into their planning and ongoing activities. It is intended for practitioners involved in the day-to-day management, operations, and maintenance of surface transportation systems at State and local agencies. The guide assists State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other transportation agencies in understanding the risks that climate change poses and actions that can help reduce those risks. Incorporating climate change considerations into how agencies plan and execute their transportation system management and operations (TSMO) and maintenance programs helps the agency become more resilient to unanticipated shocks to the system. Adjustments to TSMO and maintenance programs—ranging from minor to major changes—can help to minimize the current and future risks to effective TSMO and maintenance.

2015 - Kiribati - Coastal Protection Challenges
 9.62 MB

Presentation showing challenges for coastal protection of transport infrastructure in Kiribati.

2014 - World Bank - Roads and Climate Adaptation
 1.15 MB

Short presentation from 2014 World Bank forum on climate adaptation and roads. Emphasizes that you need to look at things with a network vulnerability perspective and that it is no use doing major improvements to drainage without routine maintenance.

The development of national and sectoral climate change adaptation strategies is burgeoning in the US and elsewhere in response to damages from extreme events and projected future risks from climate change. Increasingly, decision makers are requesting information on the economic damages of climate change as well as costs, benefits, and tradeoffs of alternative actions to inform climate adaptation decisions. This paper provides a practical view of the applications of economic analysis to aid climate change adaptation decision making, with a focus on benefit-cost analysis (BCA). We review the recent developments and applications of BCA with implications for climate risk management and adaptation decision making, both in the US and other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. We found that BCA is still in early stages of development for evaluating adaptation decisions, and to date is mostly being applied to investment project-based appraisals. Moreover, the best practices of economic analysis are not fully reflected in the BCAs of climate adaptation-relevant decisions. The diversity of adaptation measures and decision-making contexts suggest that evaluation of adaptation measures may require multiple analytical methods. The economic tools and information would need to be transparent, accessible, and match with the decision contexts to be effective in enhancing decision making. Based on the current evidence, a set of analytical considerations is proposed for improving economic analysis of climate adaptation that includes the need to better address uncertainty and to understand the cross-sector and general equilibrium effects of sectoral and national adaptation policy.

This paper details the Infrastructure Planning Support System (IPSS), a software tool that incorporates five areas of analysis, including climate change, environment, and social impact, to provide a holistic, longer-term approach to the management and planning of road infrastructure. The system combines quantitative and qualitative analysis methods to develop an estimated fiscal cost, in addition to estimates of GHG emissions, transportation time and cost savings, and a prioritization metric focusing on social impact of road construction.

The IPSS system has been applied in several case studies, including South Africa, Mozambique, Vietnam, a pan-African analysis, and several Asian countries including China, South Korea, Mongolia, and Japan. This paper serves as the first comprehensive explanation of the IPSS system, including the literature review, background, and methodology. The results section focuses on the costs of climate change in an illustrative case study of the State of Colorado in the United States, due to specific data and outputs required for the other analysis components. This paper focuses on the need for a holistic systems approach, its relevance to transportation planning and investment, and one example of how climate change considerations can be quantified and applied at the policy level.

Climate change poses a critical threat to future development, particularly in areas where poverty is widespread and key assets such as infrastructure are underdeveloped for even current needs. The focus of this study includes ten geographically and economically diverse countries and the impact of 54 distinct AR4 Global Circulation Model (GCM) scenarios of future climate change on their existing road networks. The analysis is completed using a software tool which uses engineering and materials-based stressor-response functions to determine the impact of climate on maintenance, repair and construction. This study represents an update to a previous study conducted by the authors in 2011. The key updates include methodological advances, policy-oriented results presentation and the use of a new software tool developed by the authors.

For nine out of ten countries in the study, pro-active adaptation measures result in lower fiscal costs and higher connectivity rates as early as 2025. The results through 2100 are presented and the costs of climate change present clear findings for these countries in terms of road maintenance, construction, and adaptation policy.

In rural areas, particularly those in low-income countries, roads represent a lifeline for economic and agricultural livelihood, as well as a number of indirect benefits including access to healthcare, education, credit, political participation, and more. Roads may be sparse through geographic locations, making each road critical. Extreme events pose a costly hazard to roads in terms of degradation, necessary maintenance, and potential decrease in lifespan due to climatic impacts.

Climate change poses costly impacts in terms of maintenance, repairs and lost connectivity; yet many of these impacts can be mitigated and avoided by pro-active adaptation measures. It is a crucial consideration for protecting current and future infrastructure investments and the economic, social, and other functions they serve.

The Infrastructure Planning Support System (IPSS) is a software tool designed to quantify the impacts of both extreme events and incremental climatic changes on road infrastructure in any geographic location throughout the world. The system identifies the financial cost on a yearly basis through 2100 and allows users to compare proactive adaptation measures and reactive non-adaptation measures. IPSS compares a ‘no climate change’ scenario as a baseline to provide information on the ‘regret’ that may occur if a predicted outcome of climate change model does not manifest as projected. Infrastructure impacts are determined based on civil engineering materials research, field studies of actual impacts on roads and buildings, and additional data. These resources are combined into stressor-response equations which are implemented to provide specific cost estimates. Additionally, the program can be customized to a specific location where data is available on stressor-response impacts on the infrastructure elements being analyzed.

This paper focuses on the methodology and application of the IPSS tool to countries representing a range of incomes including low-income, middle, and upper income countries. The IPSS tool is used to compare costs of adaptation and opportunity cost for each country. The results indicate that higher income countries face significant dollar costs due to the extensive road networks, with very high costs in Japan and Italy, in particular. Bolivia, Ethiopia, and Cameroon all show extremely high advantages to adaptation, yet the costs required to simply maintain existing networks are equivalent to funding equal to doubling or tripling the existing paved road inventory. These results can help policy makers at the national and international levels decide where and how to invest; and show that climate change represents a significant and urgent threat to transportation throughout the world.

2014 - Ghana - Economic Impact of Climate Change
 645.82 KB

Climate change scenarios for many Sub-Saharan African countries including Ghana

indicate that temperatures will increase while rainfall will either increase or decrease. The

potential impact of climate change on economic systems is well-known. However, little has been

done to assess its economic impact on road infrastructure. This work assesses the economic

impact of climate change on road infrastructure using the stressor-response methodology. Our

analysis indicates that it will cumulatively (2020-2100) cost Ghana US$473 million to maintain

and repair damages caused to existing roads as a result of climate change (no adapt scenario).

However, if the country adapts the designing and construction of new road infrastructure

expected to occur over the asset’s lifespan (adapt scenario), the total cumulative cost will increase

to US$678.47 million. The paper also provides decadal and average annual costs up to the year

2100 for the ten regions through the potential impacts of 54 distinct potential climate scenarios.

The African Development Bank has called for $40 Billion USD per year over the coming decades to be provided to African countries to address development issues directly related to climate change. The current study addresses a key component of these issues, the effect of climate change on the road infrastructure of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, all located within the Zambezi river basin. The study incorporates a stressor-response approach to estimate

the effects of projected precipitation, temperature, and flooding changes on the paved and unpaved road infrastructure of these countries. The paper highlights the result of running 425 climate scenarios for each road type and policy option from 2010 – 2050. Based on a resulting

database of over 1.4 million data points, the three southern African countries are facing a potential $596 million price tag based on median climate scenarios to maintain and repair roads as a result of damages directly related to temperature and precipitation changes from potential climate change through 2050.

This report provides a general EU-wide outlook about the future vulnerability of transport to climate change with a focus on the road and rail transport and their infrastructures. It also analyses some specific adaptations measures, illustrating key issues to be considered for policy making. It represents a first JRC/IPTS assessment of future impacts of climate change on the transport system in Europe, which has been conducted in the framework of the JRC PESETAII project.

Short technical note on climate change considerations.

Report describing effects of climate change on asphalt, concrete, modular and unbound pavements, and the expected impacts from climate change.